Reason for This Posting
Some of the main issues and questions while doing a firmware update on the ILO recorders are “the upgrade won’t start” or “the display says data or file” or “do I need to apply each upgrade in order” and so on. This post is to take some of the question marks out of the process of firmware upgrading.
Firmware is software that is â€œflashedâ€ or â€œwrittenâ€ to an IC chip inside the recorder. The firmware is what tells the recorder what do and how to act when the user starts pressing buttons. Firmware is the â€œBrainsâ€ of the recorder. All firmware files are collective, meaning, a newer firmware update will have all the updates and fixes from previous versions. There are 2 devices in the recorder that get updated, the system and the DVD drive (burner). A firmware upgrade can be for either one or both. A â€œDriveâ€ will be updated to allow it to recognize newer and advancing media technologies, fix bugs in the drive, allow faster and more precise recording and many other things. The â€œSystemâ€ will be updated to fix issues in the way the recorder functions, give it new abilities, changes to the user interface and many more.
You may see the term â€œHacked Firmwareâ€. This term refers to firmware files that have been modified from their factory state, usually to add features that the recorder normally wouldnâ€™t have out of the box.
Firmware files for the ILO/LiteOn recorders are divided into 3 categories. You will see 3 different types of file extensions on the firmware file names. These extensions determine whether the update is â€œSystem Onlyâ€, â€œDrive Onlyâ€ or â€œSystem and Driveâ€.
System Only: This extension will have one letter, an â€œSâ€ and one number. Example, WMJA1185.DS1, WMJA1193.DS3, WMEA1098.ES4
Drive Only: This extension will have one letter, a â€œDâ€ and one number. Example, WMJA1185.DD1, WMJA1193.DD3, WMEA1098.ED4
System and Drive: This extension will have one letter, and two numbers. Example, WMEA1097.E20, WMJA1191.D22, WMJA1193.D21
What to Install
If you are installing a new â€œsystem and driveâ€ update, there is nothing to worry about. You will be getting the latest update for both â€œpartsâ€ of the recorder. If the update is just a â€œsystem onlyâ€ or â€œdrive onlyâ€ update, there is an important issue to consider. You will always want to make sure you have the latest â€œsystem and driveâ€ update installed before doing a â€œsystem onlyâ€ or â€œdrive onlyâ€ update to make sure you have the latest updates for both â€œpartsâ€ of the recorder.
Example: You have bought a new ILO R04 with firmware version 1095 firmware installed. You go to Guitarmanâ€™s really cool firmware site and find there are 2 newer firmware revisions available, firmware updates 1097 (WMEA1097.E20) and 1098RevB (WMEA1098.ES5). Do you want to update to the newest 1098RevB?? NO!! You notice that 1098RevB is a â€œsystem onlyâ€ update and 1097 is a â€œsystem and driveâ€ update. If you update to 1098RevB (system only), you will be missing the latest drive updates that were available in 1097.
Making the Update CD
There are many types of CD writing programs and each one has a slightly different way and terminology of doing things. Most programs will do what you want without needing to change any settings. The two most common programs for writing CDâ€™s are Nero Burning Rom and Roxio EZ CD Creator. You can find instructions for burning the firmware update CD with these two programs on the Firmware Download Page. I will list a couple of important things to do here.
- It is always best to use a new CD. The firmware file needs to be the only file on the disc. If you choose to use a previously used CD, make sure to delete any old files from the write list before burning the firmware file to the disc (the old files are not actually deleted from the disc but will be hidden from showing up once the newer session has been written to the CD).
- If it is selectable, use â€œISO Mode 1â€ to burn the CD.
- Although not necessary, it is good practice to â€œcloseâ€ or â€œfinalizeâ€ the CD when writing. This will help make it more readable in the recorder.
The Update Process
This is where thing get convoluted. Half the time, the update will start, the other half, it wonâ€™t. Following these steps will help to insure the update starts and installs properly.
- Go to the setup screen and do a system restore/reset.
- R04: press â€œSourceâ€ button on remote to until ILO/DVD is selected. HD04: Press the â€œTargetâ€ button so that DVD is selected.
- Place the update CD in the recorder and close the tray. The update may or may not start at this point. If it does, go to #6
- If the update does not start, press the play button. This may start it.
- Leave the CD in the recorder and turn the power off. Wait a few seconds and then turn the recorder back on. At this point, the update should start. If it doesnâ€™t, the CD or the firmware file could be corrupt. Try re-downloading the firmware file and re-burning the CD.
- After the update completes, be sure to wait for the CD to eject from the recorder before turning off the power.
You now should have the latest fixes installed for your recorder. If you have installed â€œHackedâ€ firmware, check the recorder for the extra functions the hacks should have added.
If any help is needed, I can be e-mailed from the ILO Firmware Download Page.